The greatest guitarist ever? A true pioneer, innovator and creative genius? Undeniably a Rock-God. James, 'Jimi', Marshall Hendrix has left an enduring legacy. His technique, experimentation and individuality still have few equals today. His influence may have been even greater than his output, and when you look at his 'classic' back catalogue that is a remarkable achievement.
To base an album around some new, never previously released, recently discovered material sounds in theory to be a great idea.
Unfortunately the title song is not that good, Valleys Of Neptune would have made a good album filler in its day. Trouble is it's not its day, hasn't been for some time and all but the ardent faithful will truly care. The album, produced by his Sister-In-Law, is at best a curiosity worth a listen. Sycophants and lifelong fans will doubtless disagree, but Valleys Of Neptune does little more than to focus attention back on to a unique individual with outstanding talent who died too soon. He delivered, during his all too brief life, a marvellous, energy filled, fiery, thunderous and boundary pushing collection. To try and peddle Valleys Of Neptune as a worthy 'new' album in some way detracts from his main body of work.
Overall the album is poorly produced, lacking in the drive or passion you know Jimi is capable of, and it's also not of a consistent quality to merit more than a passing glance. Tracks like 'Bleeding Heart' are flat and bloated. Jimi's take on 'Sunshine Of Your Love' is at least 2/3's too long, stick with 'Live At The Albert Hall'. Don't be expecting any 'Purple Haze' , 'Hey Joe' or 'Voodoo Chile' moments here, there is no such discovery.
If you're a devoted fan you'll buy it anyway, if only to make sure you've not missed a possible gem. If you're merely a curious beginner it would be best to try either 'Are You Experienced' or 'Axis: Bold As Love' ........or just get the Greatest Hits!
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